The Oxford Dictionary defines culture shock as disorientation
experienced when suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture or way of life. Culture shock can be characterised by periods of frustration, adjustment, and even depression. Nearly everyone, regardless of maturity, disposition, previous experience abroad, or knowledge of the country in which they will be living, experiences some degree of culture shock when initially moving to a new country. Rather like the grieving process, there are stages that we go through…
Step 1: The Honeymoon Stage
Step 3: Re-integration Stage
During this stage, you start winging about your new home. You dislike the culture, the language, the food. You reject it as inferior. You may even develop some prejudices towards the new culture. You’re angry, frustrated and even feel hostile to those around you. You wonder why you made the decision to change. You start to idealise life “back home” and compare your current culture to what is familiar. Don’t worry. This is absolutely normal and a healthy reaction – it means you’re adjusting. You are reconnecting with what you value about yourself and your own culture.
Step 4: Autonomy Stage
This is the first stage in acceptance. Sometimes called the emergence stage when you start to come out of the ‘fog’ and finally begin to feel like yourself again. You start to accept the differences and feel like you can begin to live with them. You feel more confident and better able to cope with any problems that may arise based on your growing experience. You no longer feel isolated and instead you’re able to look at the world around you and appreciate where you are.
Step 5: Independence Stage
You are yourself again! You embrace the new culture and see everything in a new, yet realistic light. Things start to become enjoyable. You feel comfortable, confident, able to make decisions based on your own preferences and values. You no longer feel alone and isolated. You understand and appreciate both the differences and similarities of both your own and the new culture. You start to feel at home.
It is important to stress that culture shock is entirely normal, usually unavoidable and not a sign that you have made a mistake or that you won’t manage. In fact there are very positive aspects of culture shock. The experience can be a significant learning experience, making you more aware of aspects of your own culture as well as the new culture you have entered. It will give you valuable skills that will serve you in many ways now and in the future.
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on this expert site: http://www.expatarrivals.com/
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